Friday, December 14, 2012

Coker College Semester at an End

A few minutes until there is a celebration/Holiday lunch to say good bye to the semester. One of the great things about working as a faculty member on a college campus is the ability to begin again in a new semester.

One of the highlights of the public speaking class (for the instructor) is the Specialty Speech, presented this year during the final exam period.
1 -- This speech directly relates to the use of public speaking skills in the students' real or imaginary lives.
2 -- It provides the opportunity for real fun or real-life speaking.

For example --
 a) one student was leaving the exam period to actually deliver the toast to her brother and his new bride later that afternoon.
b) another student, with a love of poetry, did a tribute to Poetry and the exhalted place it has in her life.
c) a golfer accepted the Green Jacket of the Masters and baseball player accepted a golf glove and one of the music majors accepted a grammy.  Fun stuff
d) had a really meaningful tribute to a mother by one of the students and lots more that made it a fun sort of assignment to review.

This testing period I also enjoyed having students pretend they were spokespeople for companies who were facing a crisis.  Admittedly, if it had been real some company lawyers would be scrambling right now but getting in front of a camera with a communication purpose is a good thing to have done, even if it becomes an aggravating part of a final exam.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Coker College Late Night Breakfast popular tradition

The night before reading day, which is the night of the last day of the semester, provides the setting for the Coker College Late Night Breakfast. It is a time when faculty, staff and others serve, sometimes cook, breakfast for the students. The students, in return, chow down like they have not eaten in weeks. Apparently you need energy for the last minute cramming. Reading Day, after all, is the day before finals.  It is a fun end to the semester.  Here are few photos.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Music Students Getting some solo time at Coker College

This Monday some of the voice and piano students at Coker College are going to be doing some end of semester solo performances. The concert is just one of many highlights of living on or near this dynamic liberal arts campus.  You can read more about the concert from You may also be surprised to read about a Hartsville-based program allowing high school students to participate in some accelerated learning opportunities in the arts on this college campus. It is an innovative and impressive program that gives unusual opportunities to high schoolers from both Hartsville High and the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Radio: The Port In The Storm - On The Media

Radio: The Port In The Storm - On The Media

One resource I try to ensure that my Coker College Introduction to Mass Communication students know is the radio program ON THE MEDIA.  Whether an undergraduate communication major, a communication instructor or a citizen needing to know more about the how/why/what of media -- this is a valuable resouce.  One of our book chapters was on radio and here is a great story showing how radio, an often forgotten medium, can come to the rescue in difficult times.  I think everyone thinking of themselves as life-long learners will want to know about this resource -- and maybe even contribute to its existence.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

James Sweeney featured in NCAA on campus video!soccer-men/2012-11-12/campus-coker-college-standout-james-sweeney

Just really enjoyed a video of James Sweeney about his soccer experience and his experience as a 4.0 mathematics major in an NCAA On Campus video. Really good stuff and I think others will enjoy it too. James is our Coker College starting goalie -- at least he was during his four years on the soccer pitch for Coker.

Here is the message from Chris Dougherty of Coker Sports Media Relations concerning this video:

Chris Dougherty
5:15 PM (13 hours ago)

to students-l, faculty-l, staff-l, adjuncts-l
Good evening,

James Sweeney, a senior soccer player, is featured in the latest
edition of NCAA On Campus, an online video segment that profiles the
top student-athletes and inspirational stories across the country.
Produced by Lee Nassau, of DL Images, the video follows Sweeney's
journey as a four-year starter as Coker's goalie, along with his
success in the classroom as a 4.0 mathematics major. It features
interviews with Sweeney, head coach Paul Leese, assistant professor of
mathematics Paul Dostert, soccer teammates Noah Lascell and Mark
Nankervis, and an introduction by dual-sport athlete Kelley Godbout.

The link to the story is below. It can also be seen on our YouTube channels.

Please be sure to check it out and congratulate James on his fine


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday morning in the office

Looking forward to talking with a baseball recruit in a couple of minutes. Coach Dave sometimes lets me talk with recruits about the other side of the athlete's experience on the Coker College campus - the classroom. This is something I really enjoy doing and I appreciate Coach asking. It seems to me when he connects the recruits (sometimes their parents) with the faculty it helps them begin to understand the breadth of the experience that awaits them when they begin their college years. Over the past few years I have been able to meet a good number of recruits who have become students and friends over their Coker career and beyond. And, the meeting is at 10 -- using Schomotzer time, I should have already been in the library.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SGA at Coke College puts on a fun Celebrate Democracy Event

 Students enjoyed some food, snacks, lots of post-election results coverage and time with each other on Tuesday at the Coker College Student gathering area. SGA came up with the idea and did a nice job of putting the event together. And, they called it right when they decided they might get a crowd if they had some food. Pizza and tacos were the staples with some celebratory cake to add to the mix.

Hartsvillian Michael Baxley joined the students for a couple of hours duirng the viewing. Judge Baxley, he is a State Circuit Court Judge, said he was interested in getting a student perspective on the presidential race and said he enjoyed his time around the younger people.  Several students in the 8 a.m. speech class said they had stayed up for the results though several did admit to falling asleep before the election was called. A couple, however, had seen the concession speech and the victory speech and they still stayed awake for our review of the informative speaking process.  We did view clips of those two speeches because they did such a great job in demonstrating the power of a well presented talk.
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day of the Dead grows in popularity

Dr. Mac Williams began celebrating the Day of the Dead with Coker College students soon after he joined the campus. Friday evening, November 2, was the 2012 Día de los Muertos. This is part of the email invitation Don Mac sent out to the Coker Community:
"Friday CCCC(Coker College Culture Club) is holding it's annual Day of the Dead Observance.  It's open to the public, so please feel free to bring families, neighbors, and friends.  All are welcome to create an altar for anyone who has passed away, even celebrities and pets.  It's a really peaceful and beautiful time, and I hope all can make it. "

Don Mac has a way of reaching his students and one proof of that was the larger crowd that came out the celebration this past Friday night. There were students, faculty, staff, former students, and community residents -- all joining in the celebration of memory.  I hesitate to describe the event as "Cool" because maybe I am not the right generation for that description but there was something just cool as this concept resonated with such a wide variety of people. And, the event has taken on a life in the Coker community -- pretty much part of our November culture.

I grew up in a culture where November 2 was called All Soul's Day but by the time I was growing up, the Holy Day was on the First -- which was All Saint's.  The rest of the souls really did not get that much attention. Don Mac has found a way to bridge many of the natural barriers of our culture and provide a lot of people with the comfort of shared memory. Don Mac, Muchas Gracias.

Top Photo == Grffin Sullivan built a memory of his grandfathers for the Coker College Day of the Dead Observance.
Next Photo -- Don Mac and many others in discussion of the altars of memories on display.
Bottom Photo -- participants in the Day of the Dead Coker College observance getting creative with the skull art.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Outside Expert Makes a Difference

Enjoy teaching or facilitating the class in Crisis Communication and Media Relations at Coker College. one of the very interesting aspects of the class is having outside experts join in our learning experience. This past Friday Rusty Ray of WBTW came in to discuss the concept of cooperation between organizations and the media.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dance idea involving moving ideas/ideals

Really wish I could have been more in tune with this group  that appears to have a strong concept for moving dance to the mainstream political discussion.

  Dance performance in Hartsville promotes voting
They were participants in the Urban Bush Women and the Coker College dance program's "Are We Democracy?” event Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Volleyball getting a lot of home court advantge

The Cobra Volleyball team came back from being down 2-0 to tie the match at 2-2 on Friday night at the Cobra gym. The team was evenly matched with Queens and they used some strong support from the home fans to dig deeper for the comeback. The Royals held it together for the win but the Cobra women had to enjoy that vocal support they were getting from the stands, particularly the group of Coker lacrosse players who were impressed with the effort the girls were giving throughout the match.  It was fun to experience.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Opportunities to get it the second time available

One of the opportunities that students do have on the Coker College campus is access to tutoring. Sometimes you just don't get it the first time and need some extra help. The first Sunday on campus I was really surprised by the large number of students I saw leaving a math tutoring class. The tutor was really happy because the students came when they would get the most from the offering -- at the beginning of the semester when they need to ensure they have the foundation to go forward.

Last night Robin Richardson, who is our Student Support Services for the campus, shared the tutoring schedule with the faculty in case we have students asking. This felt like a good place for me to store that schedule -- students do sometimes forget and they do appreciate it when someone can tell them when Math tutoring is or where they might meet with the Chinese tutor:

From Robin Richardson:

In an effort to centralize more of our academic supports, all tutoring now takes place in the library. You will see that LITC228, the Faculty Research Room, has been volunteered for this purpose. Please know that I understand what a valuable resource this space is for faculty; however, the same features that make it useful for you—a large space with a variety of seating and working options that’s close to reference materials and technology—make it an ideal tutoring lab as well. Hopefully we will be able to share this space in a manner that serves all needs. With this in mind, below is a general tutoring schedule for LITC228 (specifics are in the attachments) to help with your plans to use this space:

4:00 – 10:00
Spanish, math, IT assistance
Tuesday through Thursday,
IT assistance will relocate to the LITC lobby, near the computer banks, to make the FRR available for class events

11:00 – 12:30

4:00 – 7:00
Math, IT assistance

3:30 – 7:00
Chinese, math, IT assistance

3:00 – 7:00
Chinese, math, IT assistance

TIP -- The best time for tutoring is immediately after you do not get it the first time. Getting help when the broken link is on your mind helps ensure you only have one broken link at a time that requires fixing.  (That is what I have been telling students in hopes they will get the maximum from the tutoring -- waiting until November is waiting too long.

Cobra Women Top Ranked Team

The Cobra women had a great game on Tuesday afternoon and topped regionally ranked Clayton State 3-1. The story of the game, produced by one of Coker's graduate assistants, follows.  In addition, the Coker women's golf team had one of their best finishes in their young history coming in third in a tourney in Anderson, SC.

September 11, 2012

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker women's soccer team captured the first win of the season after defeating No. 7 regionally ranked Clayton State 3-1 on Tuesday (Sept. 11). 
The Cobras wasted little time, scoring quickly and swiftly in the first half.  Katie Copper set a perfectly directed cross to the streaking Jalynn Fort, who navigated a head shot around Laker goal keeper Laoise O'Driscoll.  With not even 15 minutes off the game clock the Cobras struck and took a 1-0 lead.
Not only did this date mark a day of remembrance for America, but it also marked a special game for sophomore Kelley Godbout.  The forward from Mathews, N.C. had two goals on three shots for the Cobras.  The first goal for Goudbout came in the 50th minute of the second half, when she took a cross from Fortt and headed it into the back of the Laker net.  Her second goal came in the 77th minute when she blasted a shot to hit nylon in the corner of the net, and set the Cobras up with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The Coker defense was relentless for the entire 90-minutes of the game.  Goalkeeper Lizz Morris had 11 saves, and only let one through out-of-23 Laker shots.
Coker will looking to start a win streak as they hit the road for the next three competitions.  The first of the three comes on Thursday (Sept. 13) as they travel to face Newberry College.  That game is set to kick-off at 4 p.m.
McDonalds Player of the game: Kelley Godbout

Following is a story about the Cobra's golf team:

September 11, 2012

ANDERSON, S.C. -- It was a record setting day for the Coker women's golf team, as they finished third in competition, and shot a team total of 651 after a two-day tournament. 
Coker women's golf set a new team record on the first day of the event after they shot a team total of 330.  However, the Cobras were not satisfied.  The team finished strong in the second round shooting 321 and setting a new Coker women's golf record for tournament play.
Krista Thorpe shot a 78 (+6) for the Cobras, which was the best individual score on the day as well as her career.  Right behind Thorpe was Sara Allen and Taylor Demby, who shot scores of 80 (+8) and 81 (+9).  Completing the pentagon for the Coker team was Mallory Thompkins who shot an 82 (+10) and Jessi Mackenzie who shot a 90.  Thompkins and Thorpe sunk three birdies for the Cobras, while Demby and Allen contributed 2 birdies and 18 pars each.
The next competition for the Cobras will come on September 29 when they participate at the Lady Bearcat Invitational in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starting with the end in mind

Teaching a class in Coker College 101 this semester. It is a class whose objective is to help new students get off on the right track in their college lives.

Deanne Frye of the Coker Career Services center gives Coker 101 students the overview of services they can take advantage to get a jump start on life after four years in college.

We got very lucky for our first class as Devin Jennings, a May grad, was on campus and she agreed to come in and talk with the new Coker students about her college career and her life after Coker. She is a busy person and was a busy person as a student. I know her observations hit home with at least a couple of students in the class. Devin spent a busy summer dancing in Los Angeles and in Richmond and she is now heading for NYC for more dance study with the Joffrey Ballet.  The students heard from one like them what it takes to succeed. Devin's thoughts are helping them start with the end in mind. Again, thank you Devin.

Keeping with the theme of starting with the end in mind, Deanne Frye of the Coker College Career Center is talking with my group today about the assessments and tools that her department has to help students find their focus. I have not doubt they are going to both enjoy and learn from this presentation. This past summer I read a book, "The Unemployed Grad and What Parents Can Do about it", which is about helping students connect their thinking to the work place they will be entering in four years. A basic premise of the author's message was that students NEED to know and USE the career center. After today the students will have a solid ideas about the services offered. (Way back when I took some of the assessments provided by the career center at SUNY Cortland. The assessment said I should look toward a job in public relations. Turned out to be a place I spent a great deal of my work life.)

College is about a lot more than the first real-world job, but that is often a good place to begin the focus on you might use your next four years -- if you are a first-year college student.  Thank you Deanne!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I enjoyed the interview assignment in Mass Communication

"Interview an older person, maybe a parent and most especially a grandparent, if you can," was the basic assignment. The subject of the interview was to be the changes in mass media the interviewee had noticed over the years and also what that person thought of these changes.

From a pedagogical view, this was one of my attempts to take the spotlight from the class instructor and put some of the learning on the class. One of my reasons for enjoying the assignment was that the pedagogy worked in this case. Most of the students got into the assignment and they came in with lots of material on the changes in mass media over the years.

Certainly, I could have lectured on these changes from my point of view. I am older. I have seen a lot of decades of change in mass communication. I might have even kept them awake with my recitation of the first Rome, NY - Healy Avenue phone number I remember 3-0-1-7-J. That was the party line in our house before we got the 7-0-4-8 phone number for the private line -- meaning others in the neighborhood could not pick up the phone and listen in on the conversation. (Note, you could not keep your same numbers as technology or service providers changed.)  And, while I might have kept them awake, I think they got a lot more out of hearing these experiences from their grand parents and maybe even a parent or friend.  Those interviewed did have some keen memories and interesting ideas.

Further, this way of approaching a quick bit of media history also helped us focus again on culture, a major part of this course. One interviewee, for example, talked of the importance of radio weather in Iceland and then we heard from a S. C. farmer who also mentioned the key role weather news from the radio played in their early years of farming. And, we got to hear of growing up in a small village of Mexico as well as a life in a big city in the North.

A major reason I enjoyed the assignment was that it is a great introduction to the history of specific mediums that we will be getting into. For example, the idea of only one or three television channels was mentioned in several interviews. The idea that people actually wrote each other REAL letters was also a common theme.

I am hoping that the students also remember one of the refrains that came from many of the papers. The regret in the words of the interviewees that in the old days they interacted face to face a lot more than they see or feel happening today. One of our BIG questions as we continue exploring mass communication and media over the next several months will be this question of connection and the question of how you get people engaged.

I got to read all the papers and enjoyed the approaches the interviewers and interviewees took with this assignment. (We used small groups so everyone's paper got read but we only used about six of the papers in the full class.) I will be hoping that seeing and feeling the connection with their own past will give them a feeling of the significance of studying the history of the media so they will be better prepared to mange the future of the media.

Should be a really interesting semester because the students are deeply involved!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cobra women opened Sept. 2 vs Young Harris


The Coker College Women's Soccer team under second-year coach Dan Muns opened the home season on Sunday morning with a 4-2 loss to the Young Harris.

The Cobras are a young team that is coming together. They lost their opening last Thursday 1-nil to Valdosta. These two close openers are showing a much improved squad from last year.  The heat on the field this day was intense yet the Cobras came back aggressively in the second half to make a strong contest.

This is the Labor Day holiday and there were not quite as many students in the stands but the bleachers were pretty full of parents and friends from both teams -- enjoying some soccer on this long weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Coker Soccer Ranked in Pre Season

The activity on the Coker campus is picking up at an amazing speed this week. The student leaders came in over the weekend for training. Today, the resident assistants are coming in and later in the week the Commissioners will be here. The Fall athletes come in on Saturday. This last, prompts the copying of a news release this morning by Coker College's sports information:

August 8, 2012

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Continental Tire recently announced the NCAA Division II Men's Preseason Rankings, and the Coker College Cobras come in at No. 18.
"This is the first year in the history of the program that we have been ranked nationally in preseason, and it is a testament to the effort of the players," Coker head coach Paul Leese said. "I am proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time, but it is vital that we do not ease off and think we have reached a set goal.
"There are many deserving teams in the top 25 and it will take a tremendous effort to still be there by the end of the season. That's our challenge this year, and I know that we will have the support of everyone at Coker as well as the Hartsville community."
Coker had a historic season in 2011, reaching the Division II regional tournament. The team lost in the second round, 2-1, to Mars Hill College. The Cobras finished the regular season ranked No. 5 in the nation, won the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles, and ended with a record of 18-3.
The success of the season led to a laundry list of postseason awards. Seven Cobras received all-conference honors. Juniors Carlos Recinos, Rommel Fondin and James Sweeney, along with sophomore Atticus Lum and freshman Fernando Bedoya, were named first team all-conference. Sophomore Stephen Scrivens was a second team all-conference selection and Recinos was named conference player of the year and head coach Paul Leese was named coach of the year.
Juniors Alan Cuevas and Noah Lascell, along with sophomores Niko Tirkkonen, Tyler Staub and Brendan McCarron, were named to the Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team, with Lascell taking home tournament MVP honors.
In addition, Recinos, Bedoya and Sweeney were named to the Daktronics All-Southeast Region first team. Recinos, Bedoya, Sweeney, along with Fondin and Lum, were named to the NSCAA All-Southeast Region first team. Bedoya was also selected as an NSCAA/Continental Tire Third Team All-American.
In addition to their on the field accolades, these athletes were scholars in the classroom. Sweeney, Staub, Lascell and David Pent were academic all-conference selections. Sweeney and Staub were also named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team, and Sweeney was named to the Capital One Academic All-American First Team and was named the Conference Carolinas men's soccer scholar athlete of the year.
The NSCAA/Continental Tire College Rankings are an indicator of week-to-week status of qualified programs. The first regular-season poll will be released Sept. 4. For more information about the NSCAA College Rankings, visit
Based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Associatoin of America is the largest soccer coaches' organization in the world.
Since its founding in 1941, the NSCAA has grown to include more than 30,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport. In addition to a national rankings program for colleges and high schools, NSCAA offers an extensive recognition program that presents nearly 10,000 individual awards every year. The NSCAA fulfills its mission of coaching education through a nationwide program of clinics and week-long courses, teaching more than 7,000 soccer coaches each year.
For more information, contact Chris Dougherty, manager of athletics media relations, at 843-383-8018 or
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What are some "soft skills" employers seek?

THE UNEMPLOYED GRAD AND WHAT PARENTS CAN DO ABOUT IT is a book that is hot off the press toward the end of June. The author, Don Philabaum, has a lot of recommendations on how parents can help their college students become more prepared for the job search with the goal of having a job in the right field upon college graduation.

A previous blog has recommended this book to job seekers, parents of job seekers and anyone interested in knowing more about being competitive in today's TIGHT job market. This book is about planning and it does not have quick fixes or magic but it is replete with good information.

One of the lists that Philabaum provides is that of soft skills that managers and supervisors feel are lacking in new hires.  He encourages students to get these skills and has a lot of advice for how to develop the skills. One of the things I like about the list is that at Coker College we have programs in place for students to develop these skills. We do, however, probably have to a better job of telling students that the reason for some of the requirements is to help them become more job competitive even while tell them that learning for the sake of learning is also a valid strategy.

So what are these soft skills that are identified in the book. On pages 197 and 198 the author identifies 15:
1 -- Good communication skills        2 -- Interpersonal Skills           3 -- Creative problem solving
4 -- Working within a team               5 -- Integrity and ethics           6 -- Self-confidence
7 -- Motivated and committed          8 -- Leadership skills              9 -- Adaptability to change
10 - Good listening skills                  11 - Commitment to lifetime learning
12 - Commitment to excellence        13 - Willingness to take risks
14 - Willingness to face assessment   15 - Commitment to run in reports

So, it doesn't take too much critical thinking to understand that many of the skills listed here are highly valued in the "The Academy." Our students get practice in many if not most of these areas. Some on campus remind them all the time these are skills valued in the job market, maybe we just have to be aware that it does taking pretty constant reminding.

In my public speaking classes, for example, I stress in our very first class and through the semester that getting better at speaking in groups will be one of the skills that will have a direct impact on the student's personal bottom line. That also gives me the opportunity to talk with students about jargon, because few of them have any idea what the business term 'bottom line' means. It is not something that has been part of their environment to this point in their lives but they learn and most learn quickly.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coker Career Center is place for Good Career Advice For Students

In several of my Coker College Communication classes we discuss the types of jobs students might do with the knowledge we are developing in the course. Sometimes we even start the class by finding jobs the students might want some day and seeing how the skills required might relate to course content. While I am a believer in the value of learning for the sake of learning, I do understand that a very real reason for a college degree is a job and a life style that is satisfying. In the Communication classes, we try to emphasize both sides of this education coin.

Don Philabaum, an entrepreneur, writer, thinker and father, just published a new book called THE UNEMPLOYED GRAD AND WHAT PARENTS CAN DO ABOUT IT. 2012. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you might try the web site: The author is targeting parents whose vested interest in their child's education is acute. He is also targeting parents because he knows students are not at the mindset to be focusing on a career or job that is, at best, four years away -- though parents want students earning their own just as quickly as possible. While he continues to refer to parents as you in this book, the material about the changing job market and the tools that job seekers should employ appear to be relevant to anyone looking for a job or a new job.

The major rule that Philabaum provides for parents is to URGE your student to utilize the services of the college's career center from the time they set feet on the campus. He provides detailed strategies for this use and that checklist is one of the coaching tools available from the book. Deanne Tyner  Frye, who heads up Coker's Career Center, would be ecstatic if students took this advice -- it would mean she could spend more time doing career thinking with students and less time making students aware of the services offered.

Philabaum makes a good case for starting the job and career search early. His first major statement is that every year graduating students join about two million other graduating students in the USA entering the work force -- and, by the way, that does not include the rest of the world.

The book, which is more than 250 pages, is replete with lists and checklists, etc. For this blog I am going to highlight the author's Seven Building Blocks of a career or job-search strategy:

1 -- Use the career center to explore career options
2 -- Explore options that are compatible with interests
3 -- Create a personal career profile
4 -- Develop a written job-search strategy
5 -- Create a written career plan  (my least favorite of the building blocks)
6 -- Develop fundamental job search skills
7 -- Build a professional network

Now, a lot of those terms may be abstract for many people but the author does do a good job of making them much more concrete for the reader. The book provided me with additional material that I will be sharing with students and could be of interest if you are wondering about career planning for yourself or for a new college student.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coker Athletes Recognized for Achievements

The following is the publicity release put out by Coker following the Athlete Recognition on Wednesday evening. In addition to the students being honored, it was an opportunity to recognize the Coker Cobra Men's Golf Team. That team had just returned as the Conference Champions, coming back from 18 strokes down to win the tourney - an amazing feat.

Here is the story from Chris Dougherty:
April 26, 2012
HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College junior James Sweeney was named the C.G. Timberlake Athlete of the Year award to highlight the 2012 Athletic Awards Ceremony held Wednesday night in the Watson Theater. Fernando Bedoya and Kelley Godbout took home the Male and Female Freshmen of the Year honors, respectively.
Sweeney is a junior mathematics major from Huntingtown, Md., who excelled on and off the field this season as the Cobras’ goalie. Sporting a 4.0 GPA, Sweeney started all 21 games, allowing just 13 goals while posting 58 saves. Sweeney led Coker to an 18-3 record and a berth to its first-ever NCAA Division II regional tournament. The team reached as high as No. 5 nationally and finished at No. 18. Sweeney posted a .61 goals-against average that included 10 shutouts and a .817 save percentage.
Sweeney was named to the Capital One Academic All-American First Team as well as the Capital One Academic All-District Team. He was also the Conference Carolinas Scholar-Athlete of the Year, first team all-conference and a Daktronics All-Southeast region selection.
Bedoya, a freshman from Miami, Fla., started all 21 games for the Cobras. He tallied four assists and one goal on the season. Bedoya was named NSCAA Third Team All-American, an NSCAA First Team All-Southeast Region player, a Daktronics First Team All-Southeast Region player and a first team all-conference selection. He is a physical education major with a sport management concentration.
Godbout is a freshman from Mathews, N.C. She played in all 27 games, starting 18 of them, and averaged 10.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Godbout is a biology major with a pre-medical concentration.
In addition to the athlete of the year and freshmen of the year, Coker handed out awards for team MVP and coaches’ pick. They are as follows: Men’s soccer: Carlos Recinos, MVP; Atticus Lum, coaches’ pick. Women’s soccer: Sarah Rountree, MVP; Millie Rogers, coaches’ pick. Men’s cross country: Brandon Cain, MVP; Dylan Bates, coaches’ pick. Women’s cross country: Stephanie Shaw, MVP; Angela Williams, coaches’ pick. Women’s volleyball: Samantha Celek, MVP; Brittany Bass, coaches’ pick. Men’s basketball: Julian Nelson, MVP; Brenden Marcell, coaches’ pick. Women’s basketball: Amber Lau, MVP; Jasmine Alston, coaches’ pick. Men’s golf: Jake Murphy, MVP; Josh Clay, coaches’ pick. Women’s golf: Sara Allen, MVP; Mallory Thompkins, coaches’ pick. Softball: Stacy Burr, MVP; Jaclin Poole, coaches’ pick. Baseball: Dan Meyer, MVP; Kyle Gallman, coaches’ pick. Men’s tennis: Manel Estruga, MVP; Jeremy Curtis, coaches’ pick. Women’s tennis: Alyssa Blanchard, MVP; Cora Berna, coaches’ pick. Men’s lacrosse: Keith LaClair, MVP; Christian Stevens, coaches’ pick.

2012 Athletic Awards Ceremony Photo Gallery

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty, manager of athletics media relations, at 843-383-8018 or

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Last Classes of the Semester at Coker College

This week is almost over when it comes to classes. And, it is only Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday are the last days of the semester for Coker College's Spring 2012. This morning is the final class for PR Writing and we are going to be finishing up with a news release about graduation.

As we go into the final class I got an infographic from a blogger at frugaldad that pertains to the class. It has to do with keeping a camera handy so that you can always grab the news. In today's fast-changing world it is important for communicators to keep the technology close at hand. This particular infographic touts the strength of the smart phone as the technology that can go everywhere and it also points out the changes that have happened in photography since the introduction of the smart phone camera technology. Lots of converged journalism operations have begun using this type of technology.

An interesting thing about this week is that just yesterday I had a request from a person for a recommendation for one of the students in this class. Talk about just-in-time education. Sure hope that inquiry turns into a job - the same hope I have for the other seniors who will be graduating from Coker on May 5.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Coker College holds Honors Convocation (4-9-12)

Coker College held its Honors Convocation for the 2011/2012 academic year in the Watson Theater on Monday night. Dean Tracy Parkinson, provost of the College, was hosting his first Honors Convocation and he told the audience one of his reasons for choosing Coker was the unique way the Colleges brings a focus to its Academic Excellence. He was referring not only to the Honors Convocation but to the "Celebration of Academics" that is taking place all week at the Hartsville, SC-based college.

There was recognition of Academic Excellence as those who have achieved the Dean's List and the National Honor Society and the Who's Who of Colleges and the Senior World Scholars and the Susan Coker Watson scholarship winners stood amid applause.

In a very personal touch, the seniors who will be completing their four years at Coker with honors were introduced to the audience by their faculty mentors. Those receiving College Honors after completion of a major Honor's Project include Rebeca Armentrout in Biology, Monte Jackson and Ivy Aldrich in English, Marlin Ketter in Music Education and Hannah Jumper in Psychology. Hannah is also a communication major.

Scholar Athletes
A most impressive list of student athletes was also honored as Academic All Conference members for the Conference Carolinas. Among those honored were Brendan Burns, Francisco Suarez, and Matthew Bowman of the baseball team; Jonathon Gardner of the basketball team; Thad Sulek, of the cross country team; Diego Polo and Matthew Kreider of the golf team. There were three men's soccer players -- Noah Lascell, Jonathan Pent and James Sweeney and Robyn Risher of the Women's cross country team. The women soccer players were Morgan Hartline and Sarah Kinsey. And Jennifer Sanborn, Katelyn McElveen and Rebecca Dillon received the all-conference award for the softball team. Becky Dillon, who is a communication major with a minor in both Spanish and Business was the Murphy Osborne Award Finalist from Coker. And, it did not stop there.

Academic All-American
The national Fastpitch Coaches Association named Jaclin Poole, Stacy Burr and Katelyn McElveen All-America Scholar Athletes. Two men's soccer players were named to the Academic All-District team, Tyler Staub and James Sweeney. Sweeney was also a Capital One Academic All-American, as well as the Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Departmental Awards

Many of the Coker College Departments chose outstanding students for their Departmental Awards.
Analisa Smith was named the award winner for the Art Department. Josh Bittinger, was the award winner for the Department of Behavioral and Social Science and Diego Polo was the winner for the Department of Business Administration.  Seth Johnson won the award for the Department of Communication, Language and Literature and Marlin Ketter was the winner in the Department of Dance, Music and Theater. Kimberly Edgerton was the winner for the Education Department, Robyn Risher for the Physical Education Department, Emma Hayes for the Department of Science and Mathematics and Patricia Medlin for the Department of Social Work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coker's Dance concert theme is Vantage Points

The Coker College Dance Department will open their Spring Concert called Vantage Points at 7:15 on Thursday evening. Here is an announcement that was recently distributed by Erin Leigh, assistant professor - dance.:

Vantage Points Opens Thursday
The Dance Program is proud to present Vantage Points, the 2012 Spring Dance Concert, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The show begins with a pre-performance show and photo exhibit at 7:15 in Dance Studio 119 followed by the formal concert in the Watson Theater.

Dance Concert includes three Senior Thesis Projects

The concert is composed of works by Coker College dance faculty, Erin Leigh and Ashley Suttlar Martin, guest artists David Dorfman and Terrance Henderson, and senior thesis projects from Devin Jenning, Ali Nelson, and Meagan Stone. The evening provides an eclectic blend of perspectives or “vantage points” such as a 10 X10 cage or an 8’ tall platform, both designed and constructed by theater professor, David Lynn Dawson. A photo exhibit from Coker College alum John Shearer, video projections, and story telling complete this exciting evening.

Dancers would love to see you there
Please come out and support the dancers and choreographers who have worked so hard to put this great show together. We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coker Marcom student hear of "real world"

Suzy Fielders, a Coker graduate in communication came down from Winston-Salem, NC, to talk with the students about her life after Coker, which has included both graduate school and the working world. She is now with the Hays Group as a marketing person and has also opened her own Agency "Across the Horizons.

Jeanne Cerquone Yohn, who is the Glaxo Smith Kline in their executive communication area told members of the Coker College Marketing Communication class about the wide variety of opportunities that are available to communication majors. She has worked with a television station, a newspaper, trade publication, medical journal and now with a global company.Her daughter Hailey is a first-year student at Coker and a member of the Coker Women's basketball team.

Professionals give students an expanded view

As a Coker College instructor I am particularly grateful to people who will join our class to share some of their insights about how the "real world" works. Students also seem to really appreciate this expanded view and often spend more time after class getting additional conversation with the outside speakers.One of the projects on which the students are working is a marketing communication plan for the Inn and Scott Gupton of the Landmark has been to talk with the class on a couple of occasions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coker College hears from David Shribman

This has been quite a week (only Wednesday) from the perspective of a communication professor. Monday there was a presentation of "Enoch Arden" that featured art video by Seth Johnson, a senior who is majoring in both communication and art. He combined his artistic video talents with the Piano presentation by Dr. Jun Sato and the narration of Dr. Graham Wood to bring "Art" alive on stage. Seth worked closely with Dr. George Lellis, Professor of Communication, who advised through the creation of the piece.

Then on Tuesday night Sean Clark and his mother spoke to more than 200 students in the Watson Theater about the difference a decision (or lack of a decision) can make in your life. When I say that Sean spoke, that gets right to the interest of the presentation. Sean's computer spoke for him, since an alcohol-involved CRASH has left Sean without use of his voice or much of the right side of his body. But, today's technology and the fighting spirit of Sean and his mother combine for a strong presentation about thinking before drinking. The students in attendance gave Sean and his mother a heart-felt standing ovation. This was a great example for speech students and also a great example for my Persuasion students, as they got to see a real-life example of persuasive appeals toward basic human needs (exactly the chapter we happen to be looking at this week).

And, tonight the Coker campus hears from the Executive Editor of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, David Shribman, about the architecture of American Politics. After last night's wins by former Senator Santorum, this architecture should be of particular interest to all of us. This lecture is part of the Lois Walters Coker Lecture Series of Coker College.

For those interested, the news release announcing the lecture follows:

Pulitzer-Prize Winner David Shribman to Present Lois Walters Coker Lecture

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – March 7, 2012 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Executive Editor David Shribman will present the 2012 Lois Walters Coker Lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 14 in the Watson Theater of the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Shribman to campus this month,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt. “He has built a career that is founded in the highest standards of a liberal education – ideals that have always been at the heart of the Lois Walters Coker Lecture Series.

“Day in and day out, his readers benefit from lessons learned through classical training in the arts and sciences – from literature and history to fine art, mathematics and science – coherently applied to complex issues of public policy and citizenship.”

“David Shribman represents everything that’s good about journalism, and none of the flaws that frustrate so many Americans,” said Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.

“He’s driven by a thirst for understanding, a hunger for getting the facts right and in context, a passion for fairness, and a devotion to journalism’s essential role in making democracy work. With the depth and breadth of his knowledge about American history, he could win a contest with the very best American historians. And he is a thoroughly engaging human being. Coker is in for a great treat.”

Shribman, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1995 for his coverage of Washington and the American political scene, will speak on “The New Architecture of American Politics.” His lecture will explore the presidential campaign, considering, in particular, the way it reflects – and causes – changes in the way we conduct our politics.

If time permits, Shribman will entertain audience questions following the lecture.

Shribman became executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2003. He came to Pittsburgh from The Boston Globe where he was assistant managing editor, columnist and Washington bureau chief.

A regular panelist on the Public Broadcasting Service show "Washington Week in Review," Shribman is a frequent analyst for BBC radio. His "I Remember My Teacher," a tribute to the nation’s great educators, was published in April 2002. Mr. Shribman also edited, with Edward Connery Lathem, the book “Miraculously Builded in Our Hearts: A Dartmouth Reader,” published in 1999. He has lectured at universities and colleges around the country.

Shribman joined The Boston Globe after serving as national political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, he covered Congress and national politics for The New York Times and was a member of the national staff of The Washington Star. A native of Salem, Massachusetts, he began his career at The Buffalo Evening News, where he worked on the city staff before being assigned to the paper's Washington bureau.

Shribman is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College and of the Board of Visitors of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences at Dartmouth. Graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, Shribman was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He did graduate work as a James Reynolds Scholar at Cambridge University in England.

About the 2011-2012 Lois Walters Coker Lecture Series

The annual Lois Walters Coker Lecture Series is a program established in 2000 to bring internationally recognized experts in science, history and public affairs to campus. Among those who have given the lecture are U.S. Senator Elizabeth H. Dole; Holmes Rolston, III, winner of the 2003 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; Lucille Clifton, former Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland; and Yale University Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies James Gustave Speth.

Walters Coker, now deceased, was the daughter of the late Theodore A. Walters, former Idaho Attorney General and Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She came to Hartsville in 1936 when she married Robert R. Coker, a leading agriculturist and businessman, who for many years headed Coker Pedigreed Seed Company. Robert Coker was the grandson of Major James Lide Coker, founder of Coker College and Sonoco Products Company.

Walters Coker loved and supported learning throughout her life. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Idaho and a Master of Arts in American History from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Idaho, at a college in Washington, D.C., and in Hartsville’s public schools. In addition to researching and writing a history of Hartsville, Walters Coker served as the national director of the Tamassee D.A.R. School near Greenville and on the Darlington County School Board.

Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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Barb Steadman
Director of College Relations
Coker College

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coker College spring break coming to close

the Coker lacrosse team is playing near Philadelphia as this is written. They are working hard in this first year of the sport on the Coker campus. It was a long road trip to add some new sights to the season. Coker baseball in action today. Softball is playing and tennis went against Division One Liberty today. The Coker athletes had a fairly busy spring break. They will likely be happy to start seeing other classmates on Sunday.

As break comes to an end the clocks are going forward, vining a whole new look to late afternoon. I think we will like that? this week is full of night events and lots happening. These next eight weeks will probably disappear but they will be full of exciting events on the Coker campus.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coker College Opens Lacrosse History With Victory

Cobra lacrosse team marches onto field for first game in the Coker College lacrosse history. The team came out with a 14-7 victory.

Head Coach Tony Smith and his assistant coach Matt Spivey shake hands after first Coker College lacrosse victory on Friday, February 10, 2012, at Byerly Park in Hartsville, S. C., home of the Cobras. The Cobras topped Shorter College 14-7.

A couple of hundred people braved the cool temperatures to take in the first lacrosse match in the history of Coker College. From the sounds of the cheers throughout the game, they were excited to be part of this new Coker tradition. It has been a lot of years since I have viewed lacrosse, except on the television screen. After being on the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons (usually on the bench)team for a year, I have always believed lacrosse is my favorite sport. After watching the Cobras in their opener, I am still convinced.

The game requires skill, speed, strength, and a certain disregard for a sense of personal security. It is exciting to watch and should be a great addition to the roster of sports at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Morning News sports editor Mark Haselden has a great end-of-game story featuring the Captain of the Cobra team.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

699 and he wishes people would stop counting

There is an article in today's MORNING NEWS of Florence that talks about how impatient Coach David Hanna is to obtain his 700th victory as a softball coach at Coker College. For those who know Coach Hanna, it is causing some smiles. If there is a coach who, for sure, does not like the hoopla over individual victories it is Coach Hanna.

The article is clear that his impatience is because he is a little weary of "reporters and sports information directors" asking about it. The Cobra women have two games on Friday afternoon and two more on Saturday as they work to notch the 700th victory for their coach and start on on the new goal of 800.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Freshmen work hard to win Coker Cow Days; Juniors Prevail

Saturday morning I had the opportunity to be the "sponsor" of the Freshmen class for the Coker Olympic of Winter (COW) competitive events. The Juniors won but the first-year students were close in the competition.

The college was fortunate to have a John Galvin from the MORNING NEWS in Florence covering some of the activities and it looked like he had almost as good a time as the Coker students. He had some good coverage in the paper and online.

Ardie Arvidson of the Hartsville Messenger, also a Media General property, had a great story about the origins of the event and Professor Fred Edinger, who was one of the 1976 founders, in the Friday edition of the Messenger.

For those students participating, it was a fun time in connecting to a long-time Coker College tradition.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Coker opens Lacrosse play on February 10

The Coker College Lacrosse team will take the field for the first time in regular season play on February 10, 2012 at the Byerly Park in Hartsville, S.C. against Shorter College.

Lots of people have never seen a lacrosse game so it seems a quick overview of some rules would be worth a blog post. This post is using information from a dedicated to lacrosse, called You should probably visit for more in-depth information on what is called the "fastest game on two feet."


Lacrosse is a fast moving sport.

There are 10 people from a team on the field at a time (20 people on the field total). There are 3 attackmen, 3 middies, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie.

Much like basketball, there are 4 quarters in a game, and the team with the most points at the end of the games wins.

A player scores by shooting the ball from their stick's pocket into the opposing team's goal.

The lacrosse ball is about the size of a baseball. It is a solid rubber ball.

Men's Lacrosse Rules

Men's lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.

Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half. Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.

Collegiate games are 60 minutes long, with 15-minute quarters. Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12-minute quarters. Likewise, youth games are 32 minutes long, with eight-minute quarters. Each team is given a two-minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Halftime is ten minutes long.

You will find a great deal of information at the site where those quick rules were found,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cobra women convincing winners




The Coker College Women's basketball campaign for the 2011/2012 season opened with great games but the Cobras coming up short by one, two of three points -- sometimes more because of fouls to get the ball back but they were close losses. Int he record book it does not matter if it is one point of lots of points. The team with the most points win. That was disheartening to the players, who were all working hard for the "dub" (I hope what means win.) Finally, the past two games the Cobra women have found the secret and they have been on top in convincing fashion in the two conference match ups. You can tell from their smiles, they like winning a lot more than not winning.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Today opens the Spring 2012 Semester

For Seniors, the opening of a new Spring semester means they are about 16 weeks from graduation. Jessica graduated a couple of years ago and is now in Grad School.

Lacrosse will face off for the first time at Coker College this spring as Coach Tony Smith enters Conference Carolinas play with the first Coker Lacrosse team.

...and there is a great deal going on at Coker in these early days of the semester.

The Classroom is where much of the action begins this morning. Dr. Lellis just arrived, he is teaching a video production class that starts at 8 a.m. I have just about 20 students in a Public Relations Writing Class that begins at 9:30 and I am looking forward to helping guide students in an area that I believe will provide them an opportunity to build a strong work-place skill. Dr. Glantz (Coach)starts a new class this afternoon called Argumentation and Debate. He is going to be coaching Coker's new debate team and will be using this class a core for that team. Okay, there are other disciplines on the Coker campus, but these are some of the Tuesday/Thursday offerings for Communication.

There is a lot more happening today as the home basketball conference games open at 5:30 with the Women and the Men will follow about 8 p.m. They are playing Barton today and both teams are planning to bounce back from close losses on Tuesday night at Mt. Olive.

As basketball continues, many of the Spring sports will be opening practice over the next couple of days. As a former lacrosse player, I am excited about Coker's first-ever lacrosse team. Coach Smith said the team will open official practice on Saturday at the Byerly Park fields in Hartsville. Coach Dave will have the baseball team on the diamond and Coach Baker said his golf teams (Men and Women) will be opening practice on Friday with some focus exercises. Saturday, the tennis coach is hosting a faculty-staff tennis event as he prepares his teams (Men and Women) for their spring seasons.

I have noticed posters advertising a comedian who will entertain and a couple of guys who are going to talk about dating strategies - so I think students are going to find some interesting things to keep them entertained. The entire Hartsville community is in for a Concert treat on Sunday afternoon as former Coker Music Professor Steve Carlson is on stage for a piano concert sponsored by the Hartsville/Coker College Concert Association.

And, not far from the campus this Saturday will be the downtown Marketplace in Hartsville and a lot of Hartsville merchants in their stores wanting to welcome Coker students back for the Spring 2012 semester.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Semester begins this week - Spring 2012

With some trepidation I am looking forward to this new semester at Coker College. Overall we have a great selection of classes for the Communication majors and minors and I have a personally rich schedule. This semester I have one public speaking class, a public relations writing class, a persuasion class and a marketing communication class. The trepidation is that the last three are especially time intensive for both the students and instructor and all three have changed significantly since my last time teaching them - about two years ago.

Communication has been changing more than just about any facet of human existence over the past few years and keeping up with these changes is challenge for the classroom. You are right, some basic principles never change and we will get to them. The problem is channels, delivery, audience, audience segmentation methods, results, time frames are radically changed from just two years ago. Persuasion is where I might get the biggest argument from others who say how could that change. We are still using principles brought to us so clearly by Aristotle. I am with you on that. Now, two years ago would most of us have thought that channels of communication would have changed so much that an "Arab Spring" would not only be feasible; it would have happened? This is another example of the cliched or proverbial "double-edged sword." The reason I love teaching in the communication field so much is the dynamism of the subject area. The reason it seems such a challenge is the dynamism of the field.

Looking forward to seeing what this next 16 weeks have to offer.